Twinkies-maker hostess vows to stop marketing to children ahead of new campaign

Confectionery company Hostess Brands, the parent company of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, has announced that it will no longer advertise to children under 13.

Hostess has joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), a self-regulatory body that governs marketing to children in the United States. It has undertaken to no longer advertise to children, except for products meeting the nutritional criteria set by the CFBAI.

Earlier this week, Unilever pledged to no longer target under-16s with its marketing. The advertiser also promised that it wouldn’t work with influencers under the age of 16, or creators popular with those under that age.

19 companies have already joined the CFBAI, including Coca-Cola, Burger King, Hershey, Mondelez and General Mills. The program has been running for 15 years.

Dan O’Leary, Chief Growth Officer of Hostess Brands, said, “We have experienced accelerated business growth over the past two years and are proud to join CFBAI. This commitment marks an important step in our transformation journey as we demonstrate our commitment to building a socially responsible snacking powerhouse.

Maureen Enright, Vice President of CFBAI, added, “We are delighted to welcome Hostess Brands as a new participant in CFBAI, joining other leading fast food, food and beverage companies committed to continuous improvement of the children’s food advertising landscape. »

In a statement, a spokesperson for Hostess said its change in policy was heralded by the launch of “Live your mostess”, a brand campaign launched last year and its first national advertising campaign in a decade. New spots for the campaign are expected to roll out in May and the fall.

Reflecting on his own radical decision, Unilever Ice Cream Chairman Matt Close said: “Recognizing the power that social media and influencer marketing can have on children’s choices, we believe it is important to raise the bar of responsible marketing to a minimum age of 16 on traditional and social networks.

“In making these changes, our goal is to continue to reduce children’s exposure to food and beverage industry advertising, and instead help parents select appropriate treats, enjoy time in time.”

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